4 pages/≈1100 words
Communications & Media
The Two Step Communication Theory (Research Paper Sample)
Information Literacy Project Overview The goals of the research project are to: - Develop your knowledge of communication theory beyond class discussion. - Develop your ability to identify and assess relevant information sources. - Increase your familiarity with library and Internet resources, especially for studying communication. - Improve your ability to synthesize and articulate your thoughts in writing, following accepted academic conventions. There are two parts to the information literacy project. The first part is the selection of a topic for your project from the list of theory choices. The second part involves learning about the theory through reading and research, and then synthesizing the information you located through your research in a written document. Evaluation The literacy project will be evaluated on an A-E basis. The primary criteria of evaluation are the content of the project, the identification and use of sources, appropriate source citation and technical requirements. The information literacy project grade is worth 90 points toward, or 15% of, your final grade. For this portion of the information literacy project, you will use your research and critical thinking skills to synthesize information about a communication theory and then write, design and produce a written document. The document you produce should be an encyclopedia-style entry based on the research you conducted outside of class. Your task is to produce a summary of the theory for a general audience that may have no background in studying communication or communication theory. Your document should have content similar in kind to the chapters of the course textbook. You can think of your final product as an abbreviated chapter. Research Task Your task is to learn about and then explain the communication theory you selected for your project. In accomplishing these objectives, you need to identify and incorporate several kinds of information sources, including academic journal articles, relevant books and relevant websites. Introduction to Communication Theory (A COM 265X) Page 3 The evaluation of your project will include the accuracy and quality of your explanation of the communication theory, an evaluation of the appropriateness and usefulness of the sources you located and incorporated, appropriate source citation and an evaluation of the technical requirements of your document. Directions & Requirements 1. Learn about the theory by undertaking research, using both library and internet resources. 2. Collect information relevant to a encyclopedia-style entry concerning the communication theory you chose. In your document you must use the following kinds of sources: - 1 book or reference source. - 2 academic journal articles. - 2 websites relevant to your project (either authoritative or popular, but not Wikipedia). These are the minimum number of sources for the project. You are welcome and encouraged to use additional sources. - While not required, you may include an image or graphic, or suggest links to multimedia sources, e.g. a video clip on YouTube. 3. Draft an encyclopedia-style entry, and design and produce a written document to be turned in for the project. Your entry must include the following, but not necessarily in this order: - Summary of the theory you are choosing. - Identification of the tradition and communication context in which the theory falls. - Identification of the theory's approach to knowing and an explanation of its development, key words and their definitions. - Discussion of empirical support for the theory. § This may include descriptions of tests of the theory or descriptions of applications/uses of the theory. - Discussion of criticisms of the theory. - Direct quotes from scholars and paraphrasing with in-text citations in APA format. § No block quotes! - Include both in-text citations as well as a complete reference list in APA format. - Your written document should be between 1000 and 1500 words. § Your document should use headings, subheadings and page numbers. All of your sources should make a relevant connection to the theory you are working with. All sources must be cited in-text as well as in a reference list placed at the end of your written document. source..
The Two Step Communication Theory
The two-step theory of communication is more of a modern theory. It asserts that personal influence is more effective than the effect of the traditional mediums such as the radio, the television and the newspapers. The theory was formulated in the 1940s and affirms that majority of the people form their opinions on the influence of their opinion leaders who get the views from the mass media.
Lazarsfeld and Gaudet first introduced the hypothesis in 1944. The theory claims that information flows in two stages. One, the information flows from the opinion leaders to the opinion followers. Second, the information is relayed from the opinion leaders to opinion followers. The opinion leaders are the individuals who get the information or the opinions from the mass media first hand and form their own thoughts, which they pass on to the opinion followers. Opinion followers on the other hand are the majority who receive the opinions from the opinion leaders. Opinion leaders, who are of high literacy and an advantage to more exposure to mass media, explain concepts to those who are of little advantage. They are influential towards people changing their behaviors and attitudes. The two-step theory has brought enlightened on how people’s decisions are influenced by the mass media. For example, theory explains why some media campaigns have failed to change the people’s behaviors and attitudes. The two-step theory has been proved adequately and a number of research results in its support. However, several studies have emerged in criticism of the theory.
In 1944, Paul Lazarsfeld, Bernard Berelson and Hazel Gaudet, conducted an empirical research on the process of decision making in a period of presidential election campaigns and called it ‘the people’s choice’. The study’s main objective was to find the empirical evidence of the media directly on people’s voting intentions. They expected that the messages from the mass media would influence people directly on their voting. This was however to their surprise on finding out that it was a different case. The personal influence was more effective on changing the voting behaviors as opposed to traditional ways of communication such as radio, television and newspaper. In endeavors to support the theory, a panel interviewed some two thousand two hundred voters in Ohio. It was discovered that the voting opinions of the people were affected by factors such as psychological and the social factors. A book titled the people’s choice published because of the study described the theory of the two-step communication flow. This later merged with the ‘limited effects model’ of mass media. The study idealized that ideas flow from traditional mediums to opinion leaders who relay the information to the less informed members.
In addition, another empirical study, ‘The Decatur S...
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